When listening to the Introduction, I realized the Ayn Rand actually has humor. I don't know why but I always considered her a very serious personality, and thought that that would be reflected in her works, and make them boring. I am happy to say I was wrong. The introduction was funny and her novel was interesting.
After the introduction, the novel started and it introduced the Argounovas travelling back to Petrograd. The starting didn't capture my interest as much and I had to rewind the chapter few times before I actually understood what was going on. After which, the story went only uphill. The novel revolves around lives of three characters: Kira Argounova, Leo Kovalenski, and Andrei Taganov. Kira is the protagonist. She represents Ayn Rand in her days. Kira is born in a Bourgeois family. Their house was taken away by the government and their factory was nationalized; thus, they were left with nothing. Kira is an individualist, who solely believes in her existence and opposes Communist's views of the society. She meets Leo Kovalenshi, who shares her views. They fall in love, although I feel Leo's love was not really love, and they move in together, which is against the society. At the same time, Kira is attending University of Petrograd with a desire to become an engineer. Again, she expresses herself as an individualist by wanting to do something that is not acceptable by the society, but she wants to do it. Andrei Taganov is introduced at this point. He is an officer in G.P.U., secret police of the Soviet. He is also an idealist. Even though they are opposite, they get along very well. After Kira is expelled from the University due to her past, Leo and she are forced to work odd jobs in order to feed themselves. Leo's personality starts to become indifference toward everything. Kira chooses to ignore this change as she loves him too much. Leo gets sick and Kira tries to do everything in her control to help the situation. Since the income is not stable, she decides to have an affair with Andrei, in return she receives money and gifts. Both, Leo and Andrei, are unaware of Kira's relationship to the other. I think I have said enough about the novel, and won't reveal the end.
My views on the novel and Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: The novel was good. I agree with Ayn Rand's philosophy to an extent. I feel that Ayn Rand is too extreme, and I see that in her second novel, The Fountainhead. I think one must live for themselves but should not forget those around them. Everyone has something to contribute to one's life and that should not be forgotten. We must learn to appreciate and repay other's good deeds toward us and others. About the novel, I don't disagree with Kira's decisions. I feel that her decision was good considering the situation. I can't say what I "would've" done then, but I don't hate Kira for her actions. I have so much more to say but it is time to get back to work...sigh....
I will give this book 9 out of 10.